Aside from me not really being a cook, there are other reasons I had never heard of a crock pot until 3 years ago. The Germans, and I am one of them, don’t get that much use out of it. Their main meal is served at lunch time. Given 6-8 hours of cooking time, it means you’d have to start your preparations long before breakfast.
But I’ve adapted to living in the US and my eating habits have as well. Which has given me the wonderful opportunity to make a new friend: My crock pot. It’s a great tool for somebody cooking “guy” style. Most crock pot dishes start with some chopping and filling up the pot. Switch it on, add some spices and stir once an hour or so. Go, mow the lawn, start writing a novel or do some scrap booking. Or facebooking.
The main purpose of many cooking recipes is to get tough meat soft and tender. The crock pot is a master in that endeavor. When I saw and tasted what the miraculous device did to my first goulash, I was overjoyed. What was even more interesting was seeing how the Pulled Sauerkraut Pork was developing over time. After two hours of cooking, it looked like the meat that was typically served during a German Schlachtfest or for the Americans, a pig pickin’. Continuing, after four hours, it came pretty close to North Carolina pulled pork.
I’ve used the crock pot often for goulash, pea and bean soups. All three of them are classic meals prepared in large quantities at gatherings or in the military – cooked in a field kitchen called the “Goulash Cannon”. All of them required a similar process: get the meal started early, cook for a long time and don’t lose much taste when kept warm for a long time.
There are plenty of crock pot recipes out there, waiting to be discovered. I might get around to reading them some day.